1.23-1.25 - Latin American Politics 23/01/2007 17:41:00 ←...

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Unformatted text preview: Latin American Politics 23/01/2007 17:41:00 ← January 23, 2007 ← ← Other analytical frameworks for thinking about outcomes in LA ← ← Another failure of modernization theory regards culture, says “cultural” view • Wiarda and others discuss values • Wiarda argues that colonization created an authoritarian, traditional, elitist, patrimonial, Catholic, and hierarchical political culture and tradition • Authoritarian societal will is embodied by Caudillos (military leaders) in LA • Democratic institutions become ‘facades’ for authoritarian politics ← What’s good and bad about this “cultural” theory? • Strengths o Challenges idea that modernization takes place in similar ways o Cultural approach needs to look at politics as they are, not just from a general approach • Weaknesses o This theory can’t explain some of the real changes in LA from past decades – governments have changed substantially; how does culture explain this? o Ignores the indigenous population in LA and ignores other Euroepan immigrants to the region; also ignores changes that occurred in Spain and Portugal o These theories are a bit of a slippery slope: by saying everything depends on culture, you begin ‘ranking’ culture ← The theories discussed so far can be described as structural theories • These arguments tend to be very powerful b/c they can be applied to a wide range of contexts • For example, every country can be described as core or periphery; thus, we can apply dependency theory very broadly • Culture, too, can be applied widely • However, these theories can be deterministic and don’t give enough consideration to individuals ← Contrary to structural theories are voluntarist theories • These theories take into account the choices by individuals and leaders, arguing that the choices determine the future of democracy/dictatorship, development/growth, etc. • Although these theories allow for specificity (like explaining the Cuban Revolution), they don’t allow us to generalize beyond one case or one country o This is fine; however, if we want to look at variations or make predictions (will Chile’s gov’t stay democratic?), then explanations based on individual leaders or actions are not the most useful ← While structural theories are too deterministic and voluntaristic are too open to chance, there is a middle ground: institutional theories ← ← Institutional theories • Political institutions: Constitutions, courts, labor laws, etc....
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course POLS W4461 taught by Professor O'neal during the Spring '07 term at Columbia.

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1.23-1.25 - Latin American Politics 23/01/2007 17:41:00 ←...

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